As an aspiring author, it is great to be able to establish your authority for your content to prevent plagiarism at the same be known for your work. Google Authorship does that for you and more.
So you are an author who writes good content and have published your work online or plan to do so; in either case you know that in this age of internet, you need to be visible in the searches and what better than Google search, the widest used search engine globally to get featured. But then there are perils of the internet that you must be aware of and a major issue being plagiarism or copying of your content by someone else. It may so happen that someone else might just lift off your content and publish it in their name and for all you know, their work may rank higher than yours and is more popular. So how do you stop all this and become an authority? Google Authorship will do it for you. Let have a look at all the hows, whys and whats on the topic.
Google Authorship: What is it?
Well, simply put Google Authorship is about Authors who are recognized by Google and are verified for their content. You must have seen that certain results on Google search come with a picture of the author and also mentions the number people in their circles and more by this author along with the description of the content that is on display. Those are Google Authors.
Why Google Authorship came into being?
The idea for Google Authorship came into being with the idea of allowing authors to be able to establish their authority on their content and prevent the copy-cats. Also this encourages quality content, since once your name and picture is associated with the content, you as an author will be much more responsible too. This further improves the quality of the content. Other factor is with the latest updates to Google’s search algorithms; it has become more and more social media oriented and also ranks the content based on social media presence of the author as well as the content, since that is also a way of gauging the popularity of the content. With the internet becoming as big as it is today, filtering the content is a challenge and this way Google can show better and more relevant search results.
Why Google Authorship Works for you?
Google ranks content and then it shows in the searches, we all know that. But now it even ranks the author based on the content and its social media presence. The more your content is shared, the higher it is ranked and this in turn helps you, the author to rank higher too based on your content and establishes you as an authority.
From the content point of view, Google links the content with the author too, instead of merely the site it is published on. Where this is helpful is, when you do a lot of guest posts or have multiple sites where you post your content. This way all this content is linked to your profile and you as an author are the authority of it all, further improving your credibility.
The other thing is when content is displayed with the picture of the author; it improves the chances of it being clicked. Also in a page full of results, it is easier on the eyes to filter the ones with a face in front of a result thus improving visibility and further improving click through rates or CTR. Content that is claimed by an author is viewed much more than unclaimed content.
How to become a Google Author?
Well, it goes without saying that you need to have a Google Account, Google+ to be precise for being a Google Author. The good thing is that chances are you already have a Gmail Account, and with Google’s ‘one login for all accounts’ philosophy it is just breeze to get a Google Plus account. Just go to your Gmail account and look out for the ‘+’ sign to the top right corner alongside your name. That will take you to the Google Plus page and you just need to complete your profile and you are done. Make sure to use your real name or the name with which you post your content everywhere and a clear picture showing your face.
Verify Link TO your Profile
Once you have setup a Google plus account, you will need to link all your content with your profile. This can be simply done by adding a link back to your profile that tells Google about you wanting to link your content with your Google+ profile. For this simply go to you Google + profile page and copy the URL that you see till the long number that it will have. That long number is your Google + ID. You should have something like this in your URL https://plus.google.com/1040300273498XXXXXXXX. Copy this and paste this in the ‘About Author’ paragraph at the end of your posts along with ?rel=author tag at the end, so your URL should be https://plus.google.com/1040300273498XXXXXXXX?rel=author
Verify Link FROM your Profile
Once you have established a link from your content to your Google+ profile, you now need a link from your profile to your content. For this go to your Google + edit profile option and scroll down till you find ‘Contributor To’ section and add the URLs of all the websites you post your content on. This is the final confirmation for Google that you are the authority as it will cross verify the links from and to your profile.
In simple words if your Google+ profile has a URL of a site where your content is posted and that site too has a URL to your Google+ profile as shown in the step before, then it completes the chain and you are established as the author and you will be able to see your Picture, Your Cirlces, More by Author links in searches where your content is displayed on Google Searches.
Verify Your Authorship
Once you have completed the above steps, verify if all is well with the authorization and verification. Just go to any site where your content is posted and copy the URL of that page and go to http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/richsnippets and paste your URL here and click preview. If all is done correctly you should see a green box at the bottom showing ‘Verified’. Well, if it is so, you are all set.
How to make the most of Google Authorship?
So now that you are all done with the linking of your profile and establishing your authority, you need to make the most of your authority to improve your ranking. For this, post good quality content and add links of those sites on your Google+ and also other social media. Interact with people on Google+ and build your Circle and followers and contribute to relevant communities. Also guest post on various credible sites to further improve your credibility and link back to your Google+ page and vice-versa as shown in steps above.